Happy Faces in Jerusalem…
For I was naked and you clothed Me… ( Mt 25:36 )
Shalom dear brothers and sisters,
If pictures can speak a thousand words, then the following photographs of the new immigrants who have recently visited us during our clothing distribution outreaches will speak volumes! We are also grateful to the Lord that He has filled our warehouse to overflowing with new clothing from the two containers we received from Sweden. For now, these outreaches have been the focal point of our ministry because of the many opportunities presented to us for sharing the love of Yeshua with those He is bringing to our warehouse. Word is spreading fast in Jerusalem and the new immigrants are amazed at the quality of clothing. We often hear, ” this would cost us hundreds of shekels in the stores” or “I could never afford to buy this in the stores”… and many, many “Thank you’s”
“But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord. (Jer 23:3-4)
What a privilege it is for us at For Zion’s Sake to welcome those who He is bringing home with the love and encouragement of Yeshua in both Word and deed…
Even with all of the busyness with our clothing distribution, we continue to make our regular home visits. We thought to share with you the interesting story of the Rohlinyh family who came from Georgia in southern Russia in December of last year. The family includes grandmother Irina (63), her son Yuri (41) with his wife, Lea, and their three children – Mayan (14), Yoni (10) and Michael (8).
This family of six share a small two bedroom apartment and they all seem to live together very happily. Irina told us that her family’s history was shattered in 1941 when her parents were forced to flee from the Ukraine to Georgia when the Nazi’s invaded. After the war, they returned to the Ukraine in Dnipropetrovsk, where upon arriving at their house, they realized it had been sold to others during their evacuation. After that, they learned the terrible news that their family (grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, etc.) were killed by the Nazi’s because they were Jews. Therefore, Irina decided to return to Georgia, where she lived until she immigrated to Israel. The family is very grateful to the Lord to be in Israel. The Rohlinyh family has requested prayer for Yuri (father pictures above) who has severe hearing loss. Israeli doctors have said that with an intricate surgery, he may get his hearing back.
The following are a few interesting articles we wanted to share.
The Dry Bones Speak
By David Brog
As most of us who’ve visited Israel know, it’s almost impossible to build anywhere in that ancient land without uncovering some significant archeological find. And it turns out that Israel isn’t alone in this respect. European soil is also filled with ancient artifacts. Thus it was no great surprise when construction workers preparing the ground for the Chapelfield Shopping Center in England discovered seventeen bodies at the bottom of a medieval well.
The children were thrown down the well after the adults.
Scientists have studied these bones using a combination of DNA analysis, carbon dating and bone chemical studies. Last week, they announced that these seventeen bodies had most likely been Jews who were murdered by their Christian neighbors in the twelfth or thirteenth century. Eleven of the seventeen skeletons were those of children. Five of the skeletons belonged to a single Jewish family. The bones showed no signs of disease. But the fractured skulls of those at the bottom showed that the victims had been thrown down the well head first.
Norwich had been the home of a thriving Jewish community since 1135, and many Jews had lived near the well site. But Norwich bears the blemish of being the site of the first recorded blood libel against Jews – the accusation that Jews engage in the ritual murder of Christian children. William of Norwich was an apprentice tanner who frequently entered Jewish homes for his work. When he was found dead in 1144, the community accused the Jews of crucifying him. As this and similar libels spread, they eventually motivated the massacre of Jews in Norwich, York and London. In 1290, King Edward expelled all Jews from England.
Such a find should come as no surprise. Most of us know that the history of Jews in Europe was punctuated by persecution, forced conversion, torture and death. Yet such a stark reminder of this vicious past in our present day still has the power to shock. It’s as if some of the dark hate that motivated these murders was bottled up with the bodies and is just now being released into the air. It sends a chill up our spines as it passes by.
And indeed, the hate that killed these Jews still rides the winds of Europe. Many Europeans still spread dangerous lies about Jews. There can be no denying that there exists today in England and across much of Europe an opposition to Israel that surpasses any rational criticism of an imperfect nation state. What reason cannot explain, human emotion – hate – most certainly can.
The haters no longer accuse Jews of killing Christian children for their blood. Instead they accuse Jews of killing Muslim children for their land.
If these old Jewish bones could speak, they would no doubt echo the words of the prophet Ezekiel, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we are cut off!” Yet we can take comfort in knowing in fact what these Jews had to take as an article of faith. Their dark fate is being reversed in our day. Ezekiel’s prophecy is being fulfilled. The Jews have been brought up out of the vast grave of Europe and other lands of persecution and have returned home to Israel.
In fact, the miracles of our day go beyond the rebirth of Israel and the end of exile. They extend to the very relations between Christians and Jews that sparked the Norwich tragedy and thousands like it. The miracle is that this history of Christian hate and persecution is being reversed before our very eyes. And Christians United for Israel and the millions of Christians who are speaking out for Israel in her time of crisis are the pioneers of this long-awaited reconciliation.
Where in the past there was only hate, today there is also love. While at one time there was only silence, today there is loud support. Israel’s founders helped end the Jews’ physical separation from their land. We are helping to end their emotional separation from their Christian brothers in faith. We cannot change the past. But together, we can combat the libels and hate that still chase the Jews in our day. This is our precious opportunity. And this is our sacred obligation. David Brog is the executive director of Christians United for Israel – CUFI).
The Authentic Palestine Freedom Flotilla
By Ruth King
The ship “Exodus.”
No! I do not mean the motley crew of terrorist enablers, terrorists and assorted curs and knaves that is taking to the briny to defame Israel and bring “humanitarian” aid to the denizen of Gaza. Never mind those immoral misfits who forgot how the residents of Gaza trashed and looted and destroyed the farms, greenhouses, state of the art farming tools and implements, organic fertilizers and even seeds in the lush gardens of Gush Katif which provided 70% of Israel’s produce and $120,000,000 in exports of foods and flowers.
I speak of a real Palestine freedom flotilla….that fleet of ancient and ramshackle ships and the valiant volunteer crews that transported the wretched survivors of the Holocaust to Palestine in defiance of the perverse British blockade between 1946 and 1948.
A voyage of hope… and frustration.
Britain’s notorious White Paper of 1939 which effectively cut off Jewish immigration to Palestine on the eve of the Holocaust was a death sentence for millions of European Jews trapped in Europe. After World War 11, British perfidy persisted and the 1939 White Paper remained the basis of British policy. Its cruel provisions kept wretched survivors of the Holocaust trapped and homeless in displaced persons’ camps in hostile European nations or behind barbed wire in detention camps in Cyprus.
There were more than 140 voyages by about 70 ships. Over half were stopped by British navy patrols and sent to internment camps is Cyprus, or Atlit detention camp and some to Mauritius. A wonderful book by the author Natacha Appanah titled “The Last Brother” details the travails of the refugees in Mauritius.
One of the groups of rescue ships was named “Alya Bet.” Its earlier history is marred by tragedy. In the 1930s a group calling themselves by the same name attempted to rescue Jews from Europe but their efforts were hopeless. However, after the war the goal of taking survivors to Palestine became urgent and the movement for transferring refugees coalesced.
With breathtaking speed, Christians, Jews and philanthropists working together purchased ten ships which were fitted and manned by American and Canadian volunteer seamen. Many demobilized servicemen and merchant marine officers and oilers including many Christians volunteered, and many had no naval experience, but their mission was to rescue all Europe’s Jewish refugees who wanted to go to blockaded Palestine.
All but two of the ships were almost decrepit…four from pro World War 1, but among them they carried 60,000 refugees.
The ships from Canada and the United States were the following:
1 The Josiah Wedgewood (originally the Beauhamois), a Canadian corvette.
2 The Hagana (originally the Norsyd), also a Canadian corvette.
3 The Haim Arlosoroff (originally the Ulua), a coast guard cutter from the 1920s.
4 The Ben Hecht (originally the Abril) had been a private yacht, a smuggler’s boat and a coast guard vessel.
5 The Hatikva (originally the Tradewinds 1908) a coast guard cutter.
6 The Exodus 1947 (originally the President Warfield), a Chesapeake Bay excursion ferry.
7 The Geula (originally the Paducah, )a coast guard training vessel.
8 The Jewish State (originally the Northland), a coast guard icebreaker.
9 The Kibbutz Galuyot (originally the Pan York), a cargo vessel.
10 The Atzmaut (originally the Pan Crescent), also a cargo vessel.
These were the passengers of Alyah Bet.
When these ships reached the Palestine coast they were apprehended, boarded, and often rammed by the Royal Navy. Passengers were herded and transported to squalid prison camps on Cyprus formerly used to house German prisoners of war! The 4,530 passengers of the Exodus were threatened with return to Germany. An American volunteer William Bernstein was clubbed to death on the Exodus 1947 by the British boarding party.
British gunboat apprehends a refugee ship.
The British Navy was ordered to attack in case of any resistance. They used tear gas, clubs and firearms against refugees who occasionally fought back with sticks and eating cutlery.
Each ship had a heroic tale of its own. The USS Cythera (Pk31) was purchased from the United States Coast Guard, anchored in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal where Yitzhak Ben- Ami managed refurbishing and repair and became the S.S. Ben Hecht. Ben Ami was my friend and a hero and leader of the American League for a Free Palestine. His wicked son is Jeremy Ben Ami the treasonous brat who runs J Street.
The Ben Hecht in Brooklyn Harbor.
Elliot Roosevelt, the son of FDR who was an experienced yachtsman volunteered to serve as captain of the Ben Hecht, but his mother persuaded him to withdraw the offer.
Signing up to volunteer on the Ben Hecht.
Yitzhak Ben Ami was also involved in the purchase of the Altalena as he detailed in his memoir “Years of Wrath, Years of Glory.” The controversial history of the Altalena and its destruction by Israeli forces is best told by Professor Jerold Auerbach in his new book Brothers at War: Israel and the Tragedy of the Altalena.
The Chaim Arlossorof’s passengers put up heavy resistance but the ship was rammed and intercepted and beached with dozens wounded.
These were not the only ships that rescued Jewish refugees. There were many more. The Dalin (August 1945), the Hanna Szenes (December 1945) and the Shabbetai Lozinski (March 1947) went aground near Ashdod and on shore groups gathered and rescued all the passengers. The Latrun captured by the HMS Chivalrous.(October 1946), the Knesset Yisrael Captured by 4 destroyers & others. Much resistance, 2 killed. All passengers taken to camps. (November 1946), Theodor Herzl (April 1947) Captured after several casualties and 2 killed.
The Rafiah — Athina S. left Yugoslavia in November of 1946 but was wrecked and sank on December 1946. Eight refugees including three children perished. Survivors were transferred to a British minesweeper and taken to Cyprus.
Amiram Shochet — Ile de la Rose from Naples arrived undetected in August 1946 and discharged 183 fortunate passengers.
In March 1946 the British Army prevailed on the Italian authorities to prevent the departure from La Spezia harbor of the 1,014 refugees on board the Dov Hos and the Eliyahu Golomb; the immigrants reacted by declaring a hunger strike which aroused world public opinion and compelled Britain to permit the boats to reach Palestine.
One of the last clandestine immigration operations was a convoy of two large ships named “The Pans”, the Pan York and Pan Crescent, transporting more than 15,000 Jews, the majority from Romania, which left Bulgaria at the end of 1947 despite British and U.S. attempts to prevent their setting sail. The passengers were interned in the Cyprus detention camps.
These are only a handful of the ships involved in the Palestine Freedom Flotilla. The crews and passengers encountered mechanical difficulties, breakdowns, gales, turbulence, illness, cruel and humiliating treatment by the British government and incarceration in nearly unbearable circumstances. They persevered, and when Israel’s independence from England was declared the jails of Cyprus and Mauritius were opened and they sailed as free men, women and children to their home in Israel.
Ships continued to bring refugees to Israel, but the operations were no longer clandestine or met with violence and gunfire.
Honorable and gallant men embarked on an epic rescue for a noble cause. Their memory is a blessing.
The Gaza flotilla is a grotesque charade.
The best site with the most information and photos and details on the ships and their passengers during this heroic chapter is Paul Silverstone of the Alyah Bet Project : http://www.paulsilverstone.com/immigration/Primary/Aliyah/shiplist2.php
Also the list of volunteers for Israel in the Alyah Bet Movement appears at: http://israelvets.com/roster_aliyahbet_crews_ship.html.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Ruth S. King is a freelance writer who writes a monthly column in OUTPOST, the publication of Americans for a Safe Israel.
With Love and Blessings,
Bradley Antolovich and FZS staff
FOR ZION’S SAKE MINISTRIES
For Zion’s Sake I will not rest. (Is 62:1)
למען ציון לא אחשה